Youssou N’Dour

Youssou
N’Dour
1959

Senegalese Singer, Percussionist, Songwriter, Composer, Actor, Businessman and Politician

Author Quotes

I think that Sufism fits all over the world. The concept is not anything that fits standard Western ideas - it's always related to culture, to music, to religion. It is a dominant religion in Senegal.

Western record companies haven't always dealt with African musicians in the best way. Giving them a lot of money and telling them they're going to be bigger than Phil Collins is the wrong way to do it!

I want to use my music to deliver a political message and sometimes to denounce, but I don't want to be a politician.

When I'm in Senegal, I can't just sit in isolation making music. People need my help. And the Senegalese people helped create my music. It comes from the country itself.

If you come from Africa with your economic poverty and your cultural riches, and you meet someone like Peter Gabriel or a person from a big record company, and they tell you that what you are doing is marvelous, that makes you feel powerful.

When the slaves left Africa, they left us this music. They left us blues.

I'm a modern Muslim. I pray, and if I have a question, I ask someone who is more educated in the religion than me.

World music is about taking things from different places and bringing them together - which is great.

In Africa, there is much confusion.... Before, there was no radio, or other forms of communication.... Now, in Africa ... the government talks, people talk, the police talk, the people don't know anymore. They aren't free.

Africa is the future.

In politics, sometimes you have to lie, or you make a promise that you cannot keep.

I can assure you that I have never used my media companies for propaganda, and I will never do so.

In the West, you have always associated the Islamic faith 100 percent with Arab culture. This in itself is a fundamentalist attitude and it is mistaken.

I don't want to see that two-tier Senegal, that two-tier Africa, when you have those at the top and those at the bottom, people who are hungry, people who do not have enough to eat.

Music in Africa often contains messages. Music in Senegal, and Africa, is never music for music's sake or solely for entertainment. It's always a vehicle for social connections, discussions and ideas.

I grew up with reggae music.

Music is a language.

I have studied at the school of the world.

My father used to tell me about how musicians don't have respect from people and he was afraid about my future.

I have to protect my family and have a life with them that is completely private.

My music is like a spinning ball. It can turn in one direction, and then it comes back to origins.

I look at my people, and I look at those who control them - the political elite. And the sad thing is that the elites are just not interested in the welfare of the people.

Politics is politics; art is art. If you play a political role, you have to stop being an artist.

I love meeting interesting people and doing things with them.

Senegal needs a renaissance.

Author Picture
First Name
Youssou
Last Name
N’Dour
Birth Date
1959
Bio

Senegalese Singer, Percussionist, Songwriter, Composer, Actor, Businessman and Politician